The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team trying to win a championship here in 2021. If they're able to achieve their ultimate goal, a lot of the heavy lifting will be done by the second-year Steelers. On the bright side, a lot of the best players at training camp this year are the second-year guys. Below is a look at the direction each member of this group are heading. As a reminder the second-year guys aren't just the draft picks, but everyone acquired in 2020 that remains on the team today. Lets do this!
Chase Claypool - Stock up (High)
The man called ‘Mapletron’ was one of the Steelers best players in 2020, and this year he has come back looking better than last season. Claypool is trending toward becoming a true number one receiver in this league, and a dominant force opposing coordinators should fear. A minor ankle injury shouldn't slow Claypool either, as he is on track to be on the field in Week 1.
Alex Highsmith - Stock up (High)
Nobody on this team took bigger strides this offseason than Alex Highsmith. The linebacker is visibly bigger, and noticeably more explosive off of the ball. Highsmith will be the most improved player on this team, if not the entire NFL. Replacing Bud Dupree is no small task, but it looks like the Steelers found another stud to play opposite T.J. Watt.
Anthony McFarland - Stock up (Slight)
Anthony McFarland’s stock is trending up simply because his positioning on the depth chart. From the fourth running back to most likely the top backup and change of pace guy, McFarland will be looked upon for a handful of touches each game and to take a significant step in this offense. Watch out for this kid.
Kevin Dotson - Stock up (High)
Straight up, Kevin Dotson will be the Steelers top offensive lineman this year and he's trending into being one of the best guards in the game. Dotson is powerful, and a great pass blocker at the same time. Another guy that will go down as a steal from the 2020 draft class.
Carlos Davis - Stock up (Slight)
Davis is trending upward on the Steelers defense, but his ceiling is hamstrung by the talent on the top of the roster and the drafting of Isaiahh Loudermilk. Regardless, Davis will have some sort of role on this team, and could be a dude that gets some reps on special teams. He will see an uptick in play and in turn has his stock trending upward.
James Pierre - Stock up (High)
James Pierre looks like he's going to be either the Steelers starting corner or the starter on the outside when in nickel. From an undrafted free agent to pushing for playing time, the Steelers got a gem in this kid. Finding a starter from the UDFA pile is like finding a $100 bill in an old jacket pocket. Finding one that transitioned to the league as quickly as Pierre is like finding a whole wad of cash.
Derek Watt - Stock up (Slight)
Let’s be real—Derek Watt was not used much in 2020. But under a new offensive coordinator of which he played for in college, I am confident in saying Watt will receive more offensive playing time in a role that suites him better. On top of that, Watt is one of the best special teams players in the game and will reprise this role in 2021.
Chris Wormley - Stock even
Chris Wormley re-upped with the Steelers over the offseason, and will reprise his role as the Steelers fourth interior defensive lineman. Hopefully, Wormley will be able to stay healthy this year and have more of an impact than eight tackles and one sack.
Eric Ebron - Stock down (Slight)
Ebron may very well have a better stat line in 2021 than he had last year. But, the emergence of Pat Freiermuth has lowered the need for Ebron to carry the bulk of the load. This may actually be better for the eighth-year tight end who historically plays better when his snaps are limited and he can stay healthier.
But what do you think? What are your expectations for the second year Steelers? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.